The Holy Cuckoldry

Dark-faced and hollow,
Joseph sank, for it had crept upon him
In the hour when he watched,
The illumined shape come
At the holy hour
When Mary was in the fields,
The archangel appeared
And silent spoke and wooed,
Held her in his wings,
Kissed her tenderly
And tore her clothes,
She crying out her prayer
The angel touching her,
Heavenly and shameful the pleasure
Trembled inside her,
He murmuring bawdy tender
His short breathless hymn
And full of the Holy Ghost,
Grunting a blessed prayer.

She smiled, when he burst,
And savage divine joy
Anointed her immutable,
The wings of seraphim
Beat inside her,
Sang mercy to all mankind,
The eternal goodness
And sang allelujah!
Hosanna! Glory be to God!
Infinite almighty grace and praise,
Dripping pure in the body's temple
The holy paean Te Deum, non nobis Domine,
Nunc dimittis, benschen, ave Maria,
O Salutaris, Sanctus,
And praise and sacrilege unto all things,
And praise and sacrilege unto all things.

Ernest Slyman